The Boston Herald ran an article this week that began:
State education leaders are planning to make computer science a core course for high school students, which they’d need to complete to graduate and a requirement for college admission, as part of an effort to meet industry demands.
On the one hand, its about time! On the other hand, if they are serious about bringing quality Computer Science education to all Massachusetts high schools, there is a lot of work to do. If there aren’t enough CS grads for all the jobs that are out there, who is going to teach these classes? I worry that many will be taught using online tools by teachers who are learning alongside their students.
Continuing education for teachers is very important in CS. In many high school subjects, teachers can teach for a whole career without needing to learn more in their content area than they knew when they graduated college. I taught Physics for more than twenty years, and most of the physics I taught had not changed since the 18th century. In my CS classes, I am teaching with languages that did not exist when I graduated college. The internet barely existed.
One last note about the Herald quote. A UMass professor, Fred Martin, was at the meeting described in the article. In his words,
I would say that this report is largely accurate, except for the statement “as part of an effort to meet industry demands,” which is an editorial interpretation.